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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  March 15, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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next, i'm cheryl jennings from all of us, thanks for watching. welcome to "world news." tonight, pumped up. could gas prices finally be coming down? tonight, is there a secret plan? is the president on the verge of action? new records shattered. this evening, new forecasts for the season, just out. are spring and summer here already? pink slime. new action tonight after what we learned about your child's school lunch. is your supermarket next? "world news" gets action. and was he an oscar imposter? the dog who stole the show at the oscars. tonight, new questions. were we duped by a doggy double? >> the patch does not match. good evening. as we come on the air tonight, word that there could finally be
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relief on the way for those painfully high gas prices. we learned today that the president is now considering dipping into national reserves because right over the president's shoulder, right there in washington, look at this image we found tonight. $5.39 for regular in d.c. $5.69 for premium. and just today, the average price of a gallon of gas edged up, to $3.82 tonight in this country. tonight, more here on what the president could do. and why we all might want to keep our eye on california gas prices first. that's where we begin tonight. abc's cecilia vega, tracking the prices again tonight. cecilia, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, david. those prices will not be coming down overnight. potentially by summer for many states. but with prices like these, this relief for drivers that cannot come soon enough. it was the news that sent oil prices to a nosedive today. that possible deal is in the works to give us some relief at the pump. publicly, the white house denies it's releasing coveted oil reserves. but abc news confirmed that, behind the scenes, president obama and british prime minister
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david cameron have discussed taking that drastic step. >> there is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to high gas prices. >> reporter: the last time the u.s. agreed to release oil reserves was during libya's unrest last summer. gas prices dropped 7 cents a gallon. but the relief was temporary. weeks later, the high prices were back. californians, like cindy, this mother of four, who spends $90 to fill up her suv, are already paying the highest prices in the country. >> even if it goes down a lot, it will take a lot of money to fill up my gas. >> reporter: but some experts say the cost of liquid gold in the golden state may have seen its painful peak. and that's because of something required only in california gas called carbob. it's raw gasoline. and in the past few weeks, its price took a downward spiral. >> drivers are going to start noticing that prices have leveled off for the time being.
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and then, they're going to start to see some relief. >> reporter: and while the pain at the pump is only expected to get worse before it gets better, there is good news on the horizon. with decreased summer demand, should come a drop in gas prices. experts say gas price trends start west and work their way east. and that's exactly what the country saw last month when prices jumped. in february, california hit $4.02 a gallon. a few weeks later, illinois reached the same price. two days after that, washington, d.c. climbed to $4.01. >> everyone waiting for this relief. cecilia, you're back with us now. and we all remember what happened the last time you reported from that gas station there. look at this. the price went up 10 cents to $5.09. where does it stand right now? and any word when that price comes down? >> reporter: that live shot is still unbelievable for us to watch, david. 23 days it has been since we saw the price live on television. and check this out. $5.09 for regular gas, here at
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that same station. $5.29 for the most expensive here in los angeles. experts say we've seen the peak. it's not going to go much higher than this. but whether we start to see it come down, that's still going to take a couple of weeks. >> all right, cecilia vega, leading us off tonight. our thanks to you. tonight, more records broken across this country, as we look at the new noaa forecast for spring across this country. we want to bring in sam champion tonight. it sounds like a broken record, these broken records, sam. >> exactly, david. good evening. yes. this unprecedented run of late winter. remember, record-breaking heat, continued again for most of the country today. let me show you something, david. take a look at this map. it looks like america's on fire. every one of those dates, nearly 1,400 high record temperatures set since march 1st. it's just unbelievable. look at today's hot spot, chicago. when you see that number at 81 degrees, you should know they've had two days, at least back-to-back at about 81 degrees. above 80 degrees. d.c., the same kind of thing. indy, about 80 degrees, as well, david. >> it's really something to see across this country. i know you dove into that
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forecast as soon as it came out today. is this all here to stay? >> well, if you're talking about spring heat, the heat, the pattern, the predominant pattern through march is going to be heat. we'll see little breaks, like we've got today in new england, of some cool air getting in. but sticks with the temperatures all the way through march. >> and you saw silver lining in this? >> there is, david. there was a flood forecast that came out, as well, today. we're going to show you some pictures of the extreme flooding that's been going on for four years in a row now because of record snowpacks in the north. we don't have that snowpack right now. when spring rains get in, they're not going to combine with melting snow. the mississippi river will not see those extreme flooding like we've seen for so many years in a row, david. >> all right. sam champion, from new york's central park. sam, thank you. we're going to turn to a developing story now. reports of one tornado touching down in southeast michigan, near ann arbor. one official reporting lots of damage. police are trying to make sure everyone is accounted for. a tornado warning was in effect as that violent weather swept
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across the region. in the meantime, to another number on the rise this evening. we learned of a new wave of foreclosures today across 26 states. that part was expected, as the big banks just now settle so many of those mortgage cases. what wasn't expected with us was this. for the fourth-straight week, the number of americans applying for new mortgages to buy homes is up. turns out, they're jumping in to buy those foreclosed homes. and tonight, one of those home buyers, a 14-year-old. and economists say, that teenager might be on to something. here's abc's matt gutman. >> it's actually three bedrooms. >> reporter: three bed. okay. >> yes. it's three. >> reporter: willow tufano is only 14 years old. but she just bought her first house. >> in here is the living room. >> reporter: now, she's a landlord. do they come to you with problems? and then, you solve them? >> yeah. >> reporter: the eighth grader put down her life savings, $6,000 cash, to buy this bungalow with her mother. together, they're on the front lines of the long-awaited comeback of the housing market. >> i figured right now is the time to buy. i mean, where can you find a
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house for $12,000 to $17,000? >> reporter: their house was 1 of an estimated 68,000 florida foreclosures in 2011. and with foreclosures now ticking up in most states, an army of savvy buyers, like willow, are snooping for deals. and it's not just cash buyers. mortgage applications have been on the rise for four-straight weeks. and some of the worst-hit places, coming back. phoenix, arizona, prices up almost 2% over the last year. and miami's condo canyon, a ghost town in 2009, now 93% occupancy. and where the willows of the world buy, neighborhoods come back to life. >> once you occupy those homes, you have a neighborhood again. you have home values rising. and you have a community again. >> reporter: experts say the biggest opportunity remains with first-time buyers who then rent out the properties. but being a landlord does have its drawbacks. >> your half of the windows are $1,200. what do you not understand about that? the total is $2,400. >> okay. >> do you understand that? >> okay. >> get working.
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>> reporter: matt gutman, abc news, north port, florida. >> our thanks to matt, tonight. of course, the president hoping for more new home buyers to bring back the housing market. the white house celebrating the comeback of the american automakers. tonight, the president is getting new help making that part of his case that's helped before. it's "your voice, your vote." and jake tapper on the new movie, hoping to move voters. >> reporter: tonight, the obama campaign releases its 17-minute video presenting a flattering look at the president's first term, including this never-before-seen clip of bill clinton defending the auto bailout. >> if you closed all these car dealerships and you killed all these auto parts suppliers, people have no earthly idea what would have happened, not only to the economy, but to our self-image. >> reporter: president obama and his aides know that the campaign has salesmanship to do. if the election were held today, he could lose to mitt romney, polls say. so, the race is on.
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this morning, the president held an official event in maryland. >> four more years. >> reporter: while the vice president headlined a campaign rally in ohio. but the events did not seem all that different. certainly not their tone about the republican candidates. >> mitt romney, rick santorum, and newt gingrich. these guys have a fundamentally different economic philosophy than we do. the economic theories of gingrich, santorum and romney, they are bankrupt. >> if some of these folks were around when columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the flat earth society. >> reporter: members of elite society were welcomed by the president at a state dinner for the british prime minister last night. in attendance, businessmen richard branson and warren buffett, the cast of the hit british tv series "downton abbey," and with a choice seat next to the first lady, george clooney. also there, more than three dozen of president obama's top campaign fund-raisers. prime minister cameron joked that his wife looked at the
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guest list and was excited to meet the star of her favorite movie, chevy chase in "caddyshack." but, david, we looked at the guest list. and the only chevy chase mentioned is the neighborhood in maryland. david? >> too bad for her. good taste in movies, though. jake tapper at the white house. jake, thanks so much. the president, of course, following new details out of afghanistan. it was last night here we told you about that afghan man, the interpreter, who barreled down a runway in a pickup truck, heading for a plane carrying defense secretary leon panetta. tonight here, martha raddatz has learned more about those moments and what was a very close call. >> reporter: tonight, we know just how close defense secretary leon panetta's visit to afghanistan came to tragedy, as a trusted afghan interpreter, barreled toward the runway in a stolen pickup truck. after the truck hit a ditch, witnesses describe a flash of smoke and fire. the interpreter engulfed in flames. he died of his burns overnight, without ever being interrogated. so, we will never know if panetta was, in fact, his target.
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but the secretary's visit did not get any easier after that harrowing arrival. today, afghan president karzai demanded that u.s. troops pull out of afghan villages next year, a year earlier than the pentagon had planned. it follows the massacre last week allegedly of a u.s. soldier in a village right next door to a u.s. base. the a obama administration insisted today, the mission in afghanistan has not changed. but that mission, handing over security to the afghans, so we can leave, depends on trust, which is clearly in short supply. and more bad news today. the taliban suspended peace talks, which have been a major goal of the administration. but the white house said today, they will keep trying to move the talks forward. david? >> yeah. a huge setback. martha, you reported extensively on the american soldier who opened fire in that village. tonight, reports about his repeated deployments and whether or not he wanted to go back? >> reporter: exactly.
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the soldier has hired a civilian lawyer in seattle, who today said the soldier was twice injured in iraq. we reported that he had a traumatic brain injury before. the lawyer also said he had a leg injury and did not want to deploy to afghanistan. we still don't know his identity. but he should be charged soon. and then, we will. >> all right. martha raddatz on the story again tonight. martha, thank you. and now, tonight, "world news" getting answers. as you know for the last week here, diane and the team reporting on that pink slime in ground beef, that filler used to pump up the meat. tonight, here, the big change on school lunches. the usda telling schools this fall they can choose ground beef without it. tonight, abc's david kerley on what this means, as we ask, is your supermarket next? >> reporter: thousands of you posted questions. >> which retail chains carry it? >> reporter: demanding answers. >> which brands are not putting pink slime in their beef products? >> reporter: parents, schools, state officials, insisting the government do something about pink slime.
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trimmings, which are slightly cooked, spun down to remove fat and then sprayed with ammonia and added back into ground beef. today, action. the usda announcing that, due to consumer demand, it will offer a choice to schools. they can buy patties with or without the pink slime, also known as lean, finely textured beef. for a year, teacher sarah wu ate school lunches and blogged critically about the food. >> this is a phenomenal thing. i mean, this is a major improvement for the usda to give school districts a choice. >> reporter: but only one-fifth of the food for school lunches is bought through the usda. and you, the consumer, is not getting any additional information. with 70% of supermarket ground beef containing pink slime, and only two chains admitting they use it, how are you to know what's in your beef? for a week, abc's jim avila has asked the beef industry that question. >> why not just put it on the label? >> it's beef. it's on the label. it's a beef product.
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it says beef. so, we are declaring it. it's beef. >> reporter: the usda is clear in saying, pink slime is safe. but while the government is changing its policy for schools, it won't demand that supermarkets label, what's in the beef you buy. david kerley, abc news, washington. >> and again, that list of grocery stores confirming to abc news that they do not use pink slime can be found at abcnews.com/worldnews. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight." take a close look at this. a thief at work, stealing your credit card information. a new wave of crime across this country. and what you can do right now to protect yourself. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about how some companies like to get between ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you and your money. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, we believe your money should be available ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 to you whenever and wherever you want. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 which is why we rebate every atm fee worldwide. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 and why our mobile app lets you transfer funds,
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then get lunesta for $0 at lunesta.com. there's a land of restful sleep. we can help you go there on the wings of lunesta. our consumer watchdog digging deeper tonight after we learned of a new wave of credit card fraud. thieves stealing your information. tonight, abc's elisabeth leamy gets her hands on the thieves' secret weapon. showing us how easily it's done and how you can protect yourself. >> reporter: florida. new york. georgia. california. over the past week, crooks have installed tiny skimming devices that capture your account information at gas stations in every corner of the country. >> gas pumps themselves aren't monitored as closely as point-of-sale terminals that are normally located in stores. so, they offer a bit of anonymity to some of the criminal actors. >> reporter: some gas stations have even started placing a seal
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across their pumps so they can tell if somebody has opened them to install a skimmer. >> it is difficult for us and time-consuming for us to find the physical evidence we need to tie these criminal actors to the actual compromise of these cards. >> reporter: here's how the scam works. you swipe your card to pay, not knowing that a tiny device has captured your card number. the thieves then use that number to create a clone of your card with a machine we found freely available on the internet. with a single swipe, security expert chris o'ferrell showed me how easy it is, by cloning my card. >> now, it's a duplicate of your credit card. >> reporter: that's it? >> that's it. >> reporter: the crooks can then go back to the gas station, or anywhere, and use the clone of your card, as i did here. and sure enough. it went through. or they can sell your account information to other criminals in an underground internet chat room. we infiltrated one.
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and in less than five minute, an identity thief offered me somebody's credit card number. oh, my goodness. here it is. to keep this from happening to you, you can literally tug on the card reader before you use it. fake ones often come off right in your hand. otherwise, old-fashioned advice. pay inside or pay cash. elisabeth leamy, abc news, washington. >> those fake ones come right off. great advice, elisabeth. when we come back here tonight, many of us played the lotto with our office mates. but what happens when one of the workers wins and doesn't tell you? [ mujahid ] there was a little bit of trepidation,
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on dodge journey. and in new jersey, the big luck of a big lottery winner has apparently run out. americo lopes is the guy who ran his office lottery pool. but a jury ruled he cheated five co-workers out of $38.5 million. he claimed he bought the winning ticket for himself, not the pool that time. the jury ordered him to split the windfall. as for lopez, he's now furious, saying, they robbed me. it's not megamillions on this story. but tonight, a lot of us have hopes of winning extra cash. march madness, of course, under way. about 40 million americans have filled out those office brackets. some numbers surprised us. according to one estimate, workers spend on average another 13 1/2 minutes every time they check their brackets at work. the distraction will cost companies as much as $175 million in lost productive today and tomorrow alone. and by the way, the odds of filling out a perfect bracket, 1 in 9.2 quintillion. i'm told by our writers here,
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that's a 9 followed by 18 zeros. we'll check that for you. when we come back on the broadcast tonight, look at this. side-by-side. and we asked the question tonight, were we all duped by a doggy double? the famous face on the case doggy double? the famous face on the case tonight. more s y where i needed then, i got my number. my tired, achy feet affected my whole life. until i found my number. i tried the free dr. scholl's foot mapping center. in two minutes, i got my foot map and custom number. i'm a 440. that matched up to the dr. scholl's custom fit orthotic inserts with the right support and cushioning i need. i am a believer. i'm a believer! i'm a believer. find your closest foot mapping center at drscholls.com. that make kids happy. and even fewer that make moms happy too. with wholesome noodles and bite sized chicken, nothing brings you together like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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i'm here to unleash my inner cowboy. instead i got heartburn. [ horse neighs ] hold up partner. prilosec isn't for fast relief. try alka-seltzer. it kills heartburn fast. yeehaw! and finally tonight, he was the dog who stole the show at the oscars, uggie. but tonight, a new question here. were we seeing the real thing? or was he an oscar imposter? that famously silent jack russell from the movie "the artist," uggie. who could forget that rare moment when "world news" heard from him? nodding his head, as the movie went on to win best picture. but wait, a new question, enough to make anyone stand up
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straight. and it was jimmy kimmel who asked it. >> this is something i'm very upset about. >> reporter: an eagle eye on his team spotted something. or lack thereof. >> here's uggie in the movie "the artist." okay. now, pause that. now, here's video of uggie when he was on our show. now, we're going to freeze that, too. and examine here, if you look closely, the marking behind uggie's ear does not match the dog in the movie. i believe we were given a phony uggie. >> reporter: the uggie who showed up on "ellen" didn't have the mark, either. or the uggie at the golden globes. >> has the markings that uggie has. the dog who's on stage at the academy awards. >> reporter: or the oscars. >> not uggie, either. >> reporter: were we duped by a doggy double? >> it's quite a scandal we've uncovered here, isn't it? >> reporter: so, kimmel went straight to the dog's trainer, forcing him to clear it up. >> there's only one uggie right here. >> what was going on with the patch there? >> well, it's very simple. dogs, just like people, wear makeup. we have three dogs.
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and they all have to match each other. and it's just very simple. >> reporter: that's right. three dogs, all prepped for the movie, all with makeup to match, standing by to stand in. but they never had to. it was uggie all along. >> the dog that was here was uggie the dog from "the artist"? >> yes. >> i don't have to call dog the bounty hunter in here? >> no. >> settled once and for all. add kimmel to our investigative team here. that's the broadcast. "nightline" and jimmy kimmel coming up later tonight. hope to see you back here tomorrow. for diane sawyer and all of us, good night. locals say they've never seen anything like it. what is pushing the river close to the board walk in santa cruz, and the rush to divert it injury to occupy protestor scott olsen and information he claims proves he was targeted by police. >> and agonizing case that came to an end today for a bay
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area football legend and his family. >> the combination of high tech and robotics making certain patients in bay area hospitals are getting medicines they need. >> good evening, everyone. >> tragedy in the oakland hills, a 19-year-old college student killed in a freak accident brought on by wet weather it happened just south of park boulevard. the victim, a young man from washington state attending cal on a scholarship given only to the nation's brightest. wayne freedman is live with the story. >> the strange twist of events on this day. we had that accident and a day of people preparing to get ready for the storm tomorrow. and first, let's talk about what happened early this morning on the freeway. by any definition not an ordinary aen

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